Household Food Security of Urban Slum Dwellers: A Case Study in Colombo Municipality, Sri Lanka

N.L. Gunawardhana and GAS Ginigaddara



Food is a basic right and food security is a priority concern to any nation. It is very critical to identify food security issues of vulnerable people to uplift their food security status. As urban slum dwellers are still considered a neglected community, this study was conducted to identify the food security status, determinants of food security, and copying up strategies against food insecurity of urban slum dwellers in Colombo municipality. A total of 90 households from 9 slums were purposely selected for the survey from Colombo North and Central 2A administrative divisions. Food Consumption Score (FCS) and the Household Food Insecurity Access Score (HFIAS) were used to determine the food security status of slum households. Multilinear regression was used to identify the determinants of food security. The study revealed that 90% of household heads were males with temporary occupations earning daily wages. About 57% of males had education at the junior secondary level while 15% of females did not have a formal education. According to the FCS, 37% of the respondents were in poor food consumption, while 39% and 24% were in borderline and acceptable food consumption levels respectively. According to the HFIAS, 28% of respondents were less food insecure while 72% were highly food insecure. Education of household head, household size, monthly average income, the monthly average expenditure on food, and the number of working members in the family are the determinants of food security status in the study area. The study indicates that the use of low-quality food, food on credit from grocery shops, and relying on less expensive foods as the most widely used coping strategies for food insecurity of urban slum dwellers. Therefore, there is a need to empower families economically especially women through establishing livelihood opportunities, encouraging school education for children, and promoting urban and community gardening for the urban poor living in slums in Colombo Municipality of Sri Lanka for achieving adequate household food security.

Published on: April 16, 2021
doi: 10.17756/jfcn.2021-0110
Citation: Gunawardhana NL, Ginigaddara GAS. 2021. Household Food Security of Urban Slum Dwellers: A Case Study in Colombo Municipality, Sri Lanka. J Food Chem Nanotechnol 7(2): 34-40.